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Ommateum: With Doxology: Poems
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Ommateum: With Doxology: Poems

4.32 of 5 stars 4.32  ·  rating details  ·  38 ratings  ·  4 reviews
This reissue of A. R. Ammons’s debut, published five decades ago in a rare edition, with its penetrating “Whitmanian chants . . . holds in it the mystery of his gradual development into a major American poet, who will be read by the most discerning until the last syllable of recorded time” (Harold Bloom).
Paperback, 96 pages
Published March 17th 2008 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 2006)
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David Harbilas
Long unavailable, except as partially reprinted in his Collected Poems 1951-1971, Ammons's first book of poems (which he self-published) feels like the work of a fully mature artist. The poems don't wear their influence heavily, though it's clear he was an admirer of Emerson and Whitman, and in many ways may be a better example of an orracular voice than later poems, including Garbage. My favorite poem is still the very first:

So I said I am Ezra
and the wind whipped my throat
gaming for the sounds
The republication (several years ago) of A.R. Ammons' first published poem, Ommateum, should excite long-time Ammons loyalists and new poets alike. Ommateum presents a dialogue between the poem's narrator, named Ezra, and the wind. Yes, the wind. While Ammons' poetic style here is very different from his later works, this poem--which Ammons self published in the early 1950s, to scant notice--really does mark the debut of a stunningly gifted poet. And, though his later work was more widely acclai ...more
Ammons' first, self-published book brings one back to one's early twenties, when poetry seemed a medium well-suited to the certainty that one had the key to the vision of the real world. These poems are ecstatic and visionary, highly declarative and determined. There are some fantastic lines here, but I grew tired of reading these, just as I imagine that I might grow tired of reading my own first writing. It is wonderful to have a window onto the complexity and visionary power of the poet in his ...more
Quietly beautiful meditations on the convolutions of selfhood and history.
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Archie Randolph Ammons was born outside Whiteville, North Carolina, on February 18, 1926. He started writing poetry aboard a U. S. Navy destroyer escort in the South Pacific. After completing service in World War II, he attended Wake Forest University and the University of California at Berkeley.

His honors included the Academy's Wallace Stevens Award, the Poetry Society of America's Robert Frost M
More about A.R. Ammons...
Garbage The Selected Poems Collected Poems, 1951-1971 Tape for the Turn of the Year Sphere: The Form of a Motion

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